Churches in South Korea are finding new ways to attract more congregants.
A survey of Statistics Korea in 2015 showed that more than half of the country’s population, or 56 percent, identified themselves as non-religious, reports Al Jazeera.
It seems South Korean religions have failed to maintain the moral and ethical trust of the people. ~Reverend Nak-hyon Joseph Joo
The majority of young Koreans feel that churches use old and arcane methods in sharing the Gospel. One said that he relies on his family and friends, and not the church, in dealing with difficulties in life.
“It seems South Korean religions have failed to maintain the moral and ethical trust of the people,” said Reverend Nak-hyon Joseph Joo, vice dean at Seoul Anglican Cathedral. He added that, “Many, especially young people, have decided to leave their religion.
To combat this decline in attendance, churches are updating their worship styles to engage more Koreans to the faith.
Informal conversation events are becoming popular since congregants can talk about theological issues with religious leaders.
Many South Korean churches are now organizing discussions in informal settings. These allow young Christians to talk about personal or spiritual matters in a relaxed environment. Informal conversation events are becoming popular since congregants can talk about theological issues with religious leaders.
Technology is also being embraced as a tool for worship. Rev Joo explained that since many of the long-time members are aging and are becoming less active in religious activities, the Anglican church decided to modernize the way they preach to become more relevant to the young Koreans.
Phone apps are developed which allow users to read the Bible and sermons on the go. Some churches do live streaming of their weekly Masses so that Christians could still hear the Good News even without going to church.
Another popular method of bringing the public to church is by coffee shops. To tap into the coffee-crazed generation, parishes have been offering cappuccinos and lattes to churchgoers. Cafes are set up inside church compounds to serve freshly made coffee to parishioners, reports Union of Catholic Asian News.